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|Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way|
|Dimensions||6.1 m× 9.1 m(20 ft× 30 ft)|
|Location||United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.|
|Owner||Architect of the Capitol|
|Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way (study)|
|Dimensions||84.5 cm× 110.1 cm(33 1⁄4 in× 43 3⁄8 in)|
|Location||Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.|
Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way (also known as Westward Ho) is a 20-by-30-foot (6.1 m × 9.1 m) painted mural displayed behind the western staircase of the House of Representatives chamber in the United States Capitol Building. The mural was painted by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze in 1861 and symbolizes Manifest Destiny, the belief that the United States was destined for Western exploration and expansion originating from the initial colonies along the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean. A study measuring 33 1⁄4 by 43 3⁄8 inches (84.5 cm × 110.2 cm) hangs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The darkness turning into light represents the greatness that was believed to lie in the future West.
Leutze combined pioneer men and women, mountain guides, wagons, and mules to suggest a divinely ordained(1 of, relating to, or characterizing God or a deity. 2 godlike. 3 of, relating to, or associated with religion or worship. the divine liturgy. 4 of supreme excellence or worth) pilgrimage to the Promised Land of the western frontier. Within the left half of the picture is a depiction of the entrance to the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate, which is being pointed to by the pilgrim seated atop the rock in the foreground. Within the right hemisphere of the painting is a depiction of a valley, representing the Valley of Darkness and symbolic of the troubles faced by explorers. The imagery is familiar imperial iconography and is regarded as a symbol of American exceptionalism and the realization of Manifest Destiny, ultimately leading to the evolution of the American Empire.
The painting takes its inspiration from the closing lines of George Berkeley's Verses on the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America:
Westward the course of empire takes its way;
The first four Acts already past,
A fifth shall close the Drama with the day;
Time's noblest offspring is the last.
The imagery of the pilgrim gesturing on a high rock is very similar to the 5 cent postage stamp, Fremont in the Rocky Mountains, that was part of the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue and reprinted a century later.
A Currier and Ives print from 1868 uses the same title and theme for a very different print, showing a railroad crossing a new settlement as the train goes west.
A photographic print and a stereograph by Alexander Gardner,both of an 1867 end-of-track frontier construction train, were titled Westward The Course of Empire Takes Its Way.
David Foster Wallace named one of his short stories "Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way" in his 1989 collection Girl with Curious Hair .
Early revisions of the 1995 computer game Oregon Trail II depict the study version of this painting on the title screen.
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze was a German American history painter best known for his 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware. He is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting.
Manifest destiny was a widely held cultural belief in the 19th-century United States that American settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny:
Visual art of the United States or American art is visual art made in the United States or by U.S. artists. Before colonization there were many flourishing traditions of Native American art, and where the Spanish colonized Spanish Colonial architecture and the accompanying styles in other media were quickly in place. Early colonial art on the East Coast initially relied on artists from Europe, with John White the earliest example. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, artists primarily painted portraits, and some landscapes in a style based mainly on English painting. Furniture-makers imitating English styles and similar craftsmen were also established in the major cities, but in the English colonies, locally made pottery remained resolutely utilitarian until the 19th century, with fancy products imported.
John Steuart Curry was an American painter whose career spanned the years from 1924 until his death. He was noted for his paintings depicting rural life in his home state, Kansas. Along with Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, he was hailed as one of the three great painters of American Regionalism of the first half of the twentieth century. Curry's artistic production was varied, including paintings, book illustrations, prints, and posters.
Jonathan Eastman Johnson was an American painter and co-founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, with his name inscribed at its entrance. He was best known for his genre paintings, paintings of scenes from everyday life, and his portraits both of everyday people and prominent Americans such as Abraham Lincoln, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His later works often show the influence of the 17th-century Dutch masters, whom he studied in The Hague in the 1850s; he was known as The American Rembrandt in his day.
Alexis Rockman is an American contemporary artist known for his paintings that provide depictions of future landscapes as they might exist with impacts of climate change and evolution influenced by genetic engineering. He has exhibited his work in the United States since 1985, including a 2004 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, and internationally since 1989. He lives with his wife, Dorothy Spears in Warren, CT and NYC.
Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States is a 1940 oil-on-canvas painting by Howard Chandler Christy, depicting the Constitutional Convention signing the U.S. Constitution at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. Along with Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, the painting is one of the most famous depictions of the early days of the United States. Christy created the painting in April 1940; it is so large that he painted it in a sail loft. It currently is displayed along the east stairway in the House of Representatives wing in the Capitol building.
Westward Ho may refer to:
The American Art-Union (1839–1851) was a subscription-based organization whose goal was to enlighten and educate an American public to a national art, while providing a support system for the viewing and sales of art “executed by artists in the United States or by American artists abroad." Art unions had been popular since the early 19th century in Europe; they first appeared in Switzerland, gaining great popularity in both Germany and the United Kingdom in the 1830s. It was the British version — Art Union of London (AUL) — that was used as a model for the American Art-Union (AAU).
Discovery of America is a large marble sculpture group, created by Luigi Persico, which adorned the front of the east façade of the United States Capitol building from 1844 to 1958, before being put into storage.
American Progress is an 1872 painting by John Gast, a Prussian-born painter, printer, and lithographer who lived and worked most of his life in Brooklyn, New York. American Progress, an allegory of Manifest Destiny, was widely disseminated in chromolithographic prints. It is now held by the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California.
Allen Tupper True was an American illustrator, easel painter and muralist who specialized in depicting the American West.
Edgar Samuel Paxson was an American frontier painter, scout, soldier and writer, based mainly in Montana. He is best known for his portraits of Native Americans in the Old West and for his depiction of the Battle of Little Bighorn in his painting "Custer's Last Stand".
The West as America, Reinterpreting Images of the Frontier, 1820–1920 was an art exhibition organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. in 1991, featuring a large collection of paintings, photographs, and other visual art created during the period from 1820 to 1920 which depicted images and iconography of the American frontier. The goal of the curators of The West as America was to reveal how artists during this period visually revised the conquest of the West in an effort to correspond with a prevailing national ideology that favored Western expansion. By mixing New West historiographical interpretation with Old West art, the curators sought not only to show how these frontier images have defined American ideas of the national past but also to dispel the traditional beliefs behind the images.
Lewis and Clark, also known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804–1806 Memorial, is an outdoor 1934 white marble sculpture by Leo Friedlander installed outside the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, Oregon, United States.
Course of Empire may refer to:
The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776 is the title of an oil painting by the American artist John Trumbull depicting the capture of the Hessian soldiers at the Battle of Trenton on the morning of Thursday, December 26, 1776 during the American Revolutionary War. The focus is on General George Washington aiding the mortally wounded Hessian Colonel Johann Gottlieb Rall. Nearly 900 Hessians were captured at the battle. It is one of Trumbull's series of historical paintings on the war, which also includes the Declaration of Independence and The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 3, 1777. The painting is on view at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut.
Washington Crossing the Delaware are three 1851 oil-on-canvas paintings by the German-American artist Emanuel Leutze.
The Storming of the Teocalli by Cortez and his troops is an 1848 oil on canvas painting by the German American history painter, Emanuel Leutze.
The Passage of the Delaware is a large, Neoclassical 1819 oil-on-canvas painting by Thomas Sully. With attention to historical accuracy, the painting depicts George Washington on horseback observing the troops of the American Revolutionary Army in the process of crossing the Delaware River prior to the surprise attacks on Hessian troops on December 26, 1776 at the Battle of Trenton. The image is intended to capture the moment prior to George Washington dismounting his horse and joining his army in crossing the Delaware River.
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